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Converting Flat Stitch Patterns for Knitting in the Round

Converting Flat Stitch Patterns for Knitting in the Round

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Published by Bea Ann
Instructions on how to convert stitch patterns from flat knitting to knit them in the round
Instructions on how to convert stitch patterns from flat knitting to knit them in the round

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Published by: Bea Ann on Feb 29, 2012
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03/26/2015

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CONVERTING FLAT STITCH PATTERNS FOR KNITTING IN THE ROUNDA TUTORIAL BY SAPPHIRES-N-PURLS
 Any stitch pattern can be converted from flat to round knitting. Some stitches areeasy and don¶t require much effort. Others, however, will require you to use alittle more brain power. I recommend rewriting the pattern for knitting in theround, instead of just looking at the instructions for working the stitch flat anddoing the conversion in your head as you go. It is easy to get confused,particularly if the stitch pattern is a complicated one.Below you will find instructions for converting stitch patterns for knitting in theround, as well as a few sample stitches to get you started. Instructions are givenfor both flat and round knitting so you can see how the changes are made. Youcan find a free hat pattern using Star Stitch on the Sapphires-n-Purls blog, alongwith a video on this topic. Please visit:http://www.sapphiresnpurls.blogspot.com It is much easier to convert a stitch pattern for knitting in the round than you maythink. In fact, there are really only two major steps you have to take, with a fewexceptions, of course!1. First, delete any edge stitchesFor example, if your stitch pattern tells you to ³Cast on a multiple of 5 plus 4´,simply omit the ³plus 4´. You will only need to cast on any multiple of 5. Inflat knitting, the ³plus´ stitches even out the edges of the pattern; in circular knitting you are knitting in a continuous spiral, and have no side edges. Sothe extra stitches are not necessary ± you need only the number of stitchesrequired to make the pattern. This way, your pattern will flow smoothlywithout interruption.You typically see instructions that look like this:K/P ____*K__, P___* . Repeat from * to last ____ stitches, K/P ____ (theblanks represent any number)For round knitting, you can ignore instructions before and after the *The exception is when you have a differing number of edge stitches given inthe instructions. Let¶s say in the first right side row, your pattern has a K4before the *, and the next right side row has a K6 before the *. In the firstright side row, you will be deleting 4 extra stitches, so in the next right siderow, you would only need to delete the same 4 stitches. If you were to deletethe two extra stitches (4 + 2 = 6), your pattern would not be correct.2. Second, change wrong side rows to right side rows
 
In flat knitting, you work back and forth, and both the right and wrong sides of the fabric face you. In round knitting, the right side of the fabric is alwaysfacing you. This means that you need to work the wrong side rounds as if they were right side rounds. On wrong side rounds, knits become purls andpurls become knits.Let¶s start with something easy here.Garter Stitch Flat: As you know, garter stitch has no wrong side, both the front and back look thesame. But for our purposes, lets say that Row 1 is the ³right´ side and row 2is the ³wrong´ side.Row 1: Knit all stitches (Right Side)Row 2: Knit all stitches (Wrong Side)Garter Stitch Round:Round 1: Knit all stitches (Right side, worked the same as flat)Round 2: Purl all stitches (Wrong side, so must be worked opposite of flat)Now let¶s take a look at Stocking or Stockinette Stitch.Worked Flat:Row 1: Knit all stitches (Right Side)Row 2: Purl all stitches (Wrong Side)If you want to knit stockinette stitch in the round, you will simply knit, and knit,and knit forever. No purling! A few other points to remember:In flat knitting, the right side rows are worked from right to left, and the wrongside rows are worked from left to right. If you knit from charts, you are familiar with this. In round knitting, you are always working from right to left, as the rightside of the fabric is always facing. So if you choose a stitch pattern that isbisymmetrical (the right hand edge is the same as the left hand edge but inreverse) then it will be easy to do in the round. You can just read the pattern asgiven for the wrong side, working the knits as purls, and vice versa of course.There may be occasion, however, when you will need to work the wrong side
backwards
± from end to beginning instead of beginning to end. This means if you have a stitch pattern that in some way goes off center, and is notbisymmetrical, you will need to work those wrong side rows backwards so thatthe pattern looks correct.
 
In round knitting, you typically have a stitch marker to show you where thebeginning/end of the round is. If you are working on a pattern that works up onthe diagonal, you are most likely going to run into a round where the stitchmarker happens to be in between two stitches that need to be worked together.What to do is simple: remove the marker so you can work the stitches together.For example, if your pattern is telling you to ³K2tog, YO´, you would just slip astitch off the needle, remove the marker, replace the stitch on the needle, workthe K2tog, and put the marker back on the needle. Next, work the yarn over, andkeep on knitting. Your stitch marker will be back in the correct position, no needto worry. (You will see in Star Stitch how the marker must be removed in order tomake one of the µstars¶.)What if you are slipping stitches, holding the yarn in front/back of the fabric? Thesame rule of doing the opposite would apply to the wrong side rounds. For example, if your wrong side row for the flat pattern is telling you to slip the stitchwith the yarn held at the
back 
of the work, when working the pattern in the roundyou would simply hold the yarn in the
front 
.If you are working with cables, and your wrong side row tells you to knit the knitsand purl the purls, your wrong side rounds will be worked the same way.You can even convert lace patterns as well! A yarn over is still a yarn over. If you have a left slanting decrease (SSK) in the wrong side row of your flat pattern,you would simply change this to a P2tog tbl (Purl 2 together through the backloop) on the wrong side round.I know this all must sound very confusing, particularly if you are new to knitting. Iam not a new knitter, and even though I have changed a number of stitchpatterns from flat to round, half the time I am left scratching my head before I getit right. The best advice I can give is to just get out your yarn and needles, andgo for it. Knit a flat swatch so you can get familiar with the pattern and you knowwhat your fabric is supposed to look like. Then give it a try in the round. Payattention to your stitches ± they will help guide you! And if you don¶t get it thefirst time, try again. I had to frog and start over many times while working on theStar Struck hat. Each mistake is a lesson to learn from. Don¶t get discouraged!I also recommend using a cheap yarn to practice with. That way, if you do haveto rip out and start over, you aren¶t causing wear and tear on the nice yarn youplan to use for your project!Now, here are a few stitches to get you started. Instructions are given for bothflat and round knitting. I like to do my round tests on DPN¶s rather than circular needles, because I don¶t have to cast on nearly as many stitches as I would haveto cast on if I knit my test swatches on circular needles!

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XochitlDeRodriguez added this note
working backwards with the wrong sides means tha i need to star with the last istitch given in the pattern row? if i have this row "k1 * yo, sl1 knit wise, k2tog tbl* k1 iwhen working flat, in the round would be "p2tog tfl, sl1 purl wise, yo"?
Carl Lee Krauthause added this note
This is very helpful. I am now knitting nearly everything in the round. Car

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